BELGRADE, 23.08.2019. – Serbia’s ruling party is ruthless in its efforts to twist the words of its opponents, the head of the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS) told N1 on Friday.
“The engineering by the ruling party (Serbian Progressive Party or SNS) is ruthless and unprecedented. Whatever you say will be twisted around tomorrow and go in a different direction,” NUNS President Zeljko Bodrozic told the N1 morning show, adding that the effects are felt most by people working in the media.
He said that a NUNS spokesperson was present at the opening of the third meeting between the authorities and opposition at the Belgrade University Faculty of Political Science (FPN) to try to say what the organization has ben saying for years about the media scene and what is stopping journalists from doing their jobs, adding that the situation was not normal since politicians were brought together outside institutions.
According to Bodrozic, it’s not normal for the president, who should be president of all citizens under the constitution, not to want to talk to critical media who operate professionally in line with the journalists’ code. He said the ruling party has “taken over most of the national TV stations and newspapers and evidently has no need to talk or answer unpleasant questions”.
The NUNS president said that everything that was achieved since the year 2000 in terms of the role of the media and attitudes towards them has been annulled in the past seven years (since the SNS came to power). “We have a problem with politicians and have to teach them that they are here for the citizens,” he said.
Bodrozic also criticized journalists who agree to become propaganda outlets. “They abandon the rules of the profession, seeking to survive both as people and as journalists and are condescending towards politicians who use that,” he said adding that part of the blame for the arrogant behavior of politicians lies with journalists who are obviously scared and frustrated after “years of working in impossible conditions and lowering criteria”.
N1 Belgrade, Belgrade, 23/08/2019